My birthday has come and gone, and it remains only to thank the many people from around the world who took the time to wish me a happy birthday. I was very touched by your kind wishes and words. Writing this blog has introduced me to a world of folk with whom I have made a connection. What began as a lark, suggested by my son, Patrick, as a way to fill the empty hours of retirement has become quite the most important part of my day.
Thank you to Jim, and to James, to Manisha and Dot and Kevin and Mickey, thank you to Jennifer and Charles and David and to C Rossi. And my thanks to all those I have no doubt overlooked in the chaos of my desk and the jumble of my mind.
Thank you as well to all those who, it seems, wished me well on FaceBook [and wasn't I mean spirited to write negatively about that program just when people were using it to say kind things to me!]
Those of us of a progressive turn of mind face a daunting future here in the United States. We dodged a bullet in the last election, but the deeper ills of this society remain, and grow progressively worse. At the very top of my personal list of horribles I place the seemingly intractable and ever worsening inequality of wealth and income that is turning America into a Banana Republic. We seem as a nation to be conducting a horrific experiment to see how close to 1 the Gini Coefficient of income distribution in America can come before the society collapses.
Perhaps in the coming months we can try to figure out the extent to which it is structural features of capitalism in its current form that generate this ever-worsening inequality, and the extent to which it is political decisions that are, at least in principle, reversible.
Now, onward to eighty!